The Top 11 Touch Kitchen Faucets and What You Should Know

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One of the biggest innovations in the world of kitchen fixtures has been the introduction of the touchless and touch kitchen faucet. These two new technologies allow people to turn their sinks on and off without turning a handle. While both touchless and touch kitchen faucet technologies can reduce the spread of germs and keep your faucet clean, there are many to choose from depending on your needs, style, and budget. Here are a few of our favorites.

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1. Delta Essa Touch20 Venetian Bronze Pull-Down Touch Kitchen Faucet, $430.50

This modern touch faucet is ideal for the chef that wants some versatility. It can be installed in either a single hole or a 3-hole sink. With an easy pull-down sprayer, hi-tech sensor faucet, LED indicator light for the battery level, and side spray for an easy water swivel, you can make your kitchen sink an integral part of your cooking routine. Plus, you'll be doing good for the Earth as the smart technology turns off the faucet after 4 minutes with no usage and the 1.8 GPM max flow conserves water usage.

This ultra-modern faucet is sure to give your kitchen that from the future upgrade you're looking for.

2. Delta Marca Pull-Down Sprayer Kitchen Faucet with ShieldSpray, $448.53

There's something about a glimmering gold faucet that truly adds a little pop of luxury. With a sleek design, this modern pull-down faucet is about to pull together all of the design elements in your kitchen. With easy water temperature controls, an ideal flow rate, and lovely shine, you'll wonder why you didn't bring this into your kitchen earlier.

The trick to making gold work in your kitchen is to pair it with lots of neutrals, specifically white. When you let the gold draw the eye and become the focal point of your kitchen, you're cultivating that high-end style without going overboard.

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3. Delta Leland Touch20 Spotshield Pull-Down Touch Kitchen Faucet, $381.78

Have a slightly more traditional kitchen, but want to still enjoy the modern flair of a touch faucet? This Delta faucet has a slightly curved design in the sprayer and handle, allowing it to blend seamlessly with a multitude of kitchen aesthetics. Choose from a variety of colors and find that perfect shade to bring your entire kitchen together.

The pull-down sprayer is bound to spray away all those hard-to-get pieces of food residue while the swivel head makes washing a breeze. You can install it in either single-hole or 3-hole sinks, meaning installation is also going to be easy. The TempSense LED light alerts you of the water temperature (so no more 'ouch' moments) and the magnetic docking feature ensures your faucet doesn't do that annoying droop over time.

4. American Standard, Beale Touch Single-Handle Pull-Down Sprayer Kitchen Faucet, $553.15

Hello, ultra-modern! This extra sleek touch faucet screams quality with its pull-down feature, swivel abilities, strong flow rate, and precise water temperature control. Enjoy this sensor faucet when you're running around your kitchen cooking as the smart technology will make rinsing off your hands or washing up a breeze.

When it comes to decorating, pair this faucet with more minimal pieces. It will allow your modern aesthetic to come together in a way that feels very put-together and high-end.

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5. Delta Mateo Touch20 Arctic Stainless 1-Handle Pull-Down Touch Kitchen Faucet, $570.12

Elevate your kitchen with this do-it-all Delta faucet. Enjoy easy installation in both two-hole and four-hole sinks and bask in the beauty of the gorgeous arctic stainless steel finish. This single-handle pull-down kitchen faucet lets you easily switch from stream to spray so you get the perfect water temperature each time. The 1.8 GPM flow rate allows you to save water with ease and still feel the power of this high-quality spray head.

With a light signal when batteries are low and an ADA compliance rating, you can ensure this faucet is going to be incredibly easy to use for a variety of people.

6. The Home Depot Sensitive Touch Pull-Down Sprayer Kitchen Faucet, $269

Give your modern touch faucet a little kick of antique with this show-stopping style. On top of its glamorous looks, the touch technology allows you to cycle through spray, steam, and pause, ensuring you always get the water flow that you're looking for. This pull-down faucet with a 360 swivel spout will make sure you can always access your full sink and be super comfy when washing a pile of dishes.

It needs to be installed in a single-hole sink, so it fits in most kitchens. Plus, with a smudge-proof finish, you can help your touch faucet look new even after years of use.

7. Kohler Sensate Kitchen faucet with Konnect, $1,224.20

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If you thought touch faucets were cool, you're going to lose your mind over this touchless faucet. You can use your voice and feel like a Jedi when you're cleaning up after a delicious family dinner. You can turn the kitchen sink faucet on or off or fill something with pre-filled measurements — all while using just your voice. This hands-free design is great for when your hands are full.

On top of these fun features, this high-quality faucet pairs with your electronics, monitors water usage, and allows motion sensing. It even will tell you how much water you're using through your phone notifications. If you're someone who wants to tech out their house, then you definitely need to invest in this futuristic faucet.

8. Grohe Minta Supersteel 1-Handle Pull-Out Touch Kitchen Faucet, $775.11

This uber high-quality faucet is for the chef who knows they need something reliable. With an accompanying soap or lotion dispenser, you can always make sure your favorite hand products are just a few inches away. The 360-degree swivel spray head is CALGreen compliant and the single pull-down design is versatile and easy to use.

This sensor faucet is activated by touch and you can set the water temperature to that perfect warm every single time. And if these features aren't enough, the StarLight finish ensures you won't get any tarnish or scratches, meaning this faucet will be beautiful forever.

9. Zurn Chrome 2-Handle High-Arc Touch Kitchen Faucet, $210.15

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Touch faucets don't have to have an ultra-modern feel, especially if that is not your preferred aesthetic. This gooseneck faucet is crafted to be durable, attractive, and long-lasting so you don't have to think about a faucet replacement ever again.

A high arc means using your kitchen sink won't feel cramped and you'll always be able to wash with ease. You'll also notice a great water flow and beautifully polished chrome exterior. If you're a fan of classic kitchens but really want that modern technology, we may have found your perfect match.

10. Grohe Minta Supersteel 1-Hand Pull-Out Touch Kitchen Faucet, $794.13

Remember that Grohe faucet a few picks back? This one has that same luxe feel but an even more modern silhouette. Take advantage of the geometric-inspired design if you're looking to truly shun the traditional faucet and basic kitchen sink.

With a soap dispenser, beautiful brushed nickel exterior, spot-resistant exterior, and easy-to-navigate spray head, you can easily turn this faucet into your favorite kitchen gadget.

11. Delta Lenta Touch Single-Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet with ShieldSpray, $301.25

There's something so necessary and classic about a stainless steel faucet and this Delta faucet is one to beat as it has all the features that'll make you go "wow." This single-handle pull-down kitchen faucet is easy to touch on and off, as you can touch it anywhere. That will be a life-saver when you're carrying that 'a little too hot' pot.

The patented diamond seal technology on this faucet makes sure your faucet doesn't get any leaks and can last longer. Plus, magnetic docking and a strong spray mean you can have fun with the water flow that will get your dishes super clean. Make sure you get your hands on this Delta faucet if you're ready to upgrade your kitchen game.

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Touch vs. Touchless Kitchen Faucets

When hearing the name, many people mistakenly believe that a touch kitchen faucet is the exact opposite of a touchless kitchen faucet. In fact, these two devices are more similar to each other than they are to a traditional kitchen faucet. That's because both can be turned on and off without the use of a handle. This is done through the use of a solenoid valve that opens and closes automatically when triggered by the faucet's sensor.

There are some big differences between a touch faucet and a touchless faucet, though. A touch kitchen faucet, also called a "touch-sensitive faucet," turns on when a user touches it. This touch can occur anywhere on the faucet, including the handle or spout, and it can be done with a hand, wrist, forearm, etc., which is convenient when your hands are dirty. The on/off features are activated through the same small electrical charge of the human body that makes a touch screen work.

A touchless faucet, also called a "sensor faucet" or "hands-free faucet," turns on when a motion sensor recognizes a hand or other object in front of it, and it turns off when the object is removed. While both touch and touchless kitchen faucets can keep kitchen faucet handles clean and help prevent the spread of bacteria, the fully hands-free nature of a touchless faucet does so more effectively.

How a Touch Kitchen Faucet Works

Touch faucets rely on a technology called "captive sensing" that senses the small charge of the human body. This charge is called "capacitance," which is equal to around 100 to 200 picofarads. Touch faucets are programmed to detect capacitance changes within this range. They do this through sensors built into the handle and the spout.

These don't just sense electrical charges to the sensors themselves but any conductive material connected to the sensors, including the rest of the faucet (insulation at the base of the faucet prevents the sink from operating as a conductor). A quick touch will turn on the faucet when it is turned off. Another touch will turn it off when it is on, and many touch faucets will also turn off automatically after a set period of time.

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Many people worry that cleaning a touch faucet, using a pull-down faucet accessory, or even adjusting the water temperature with the handle will result in it turning on and off over and over, but only a quick touch will turn the faucet on or off. A long, steady touch will not trigger the solenoid valve.

Image Credit: Paul Anderson

How a Touchless Faucet Works

A touchless faucet also uses a sensor, but in this case, the sensor detects motion rather than the body's electrical current. The sensor does this with either infrared light or ultrasonic sensor, usually placed at the front or side of the faucet body, though some styles hide the sensor on the back of the spout.

With infrared light, the faucet will turn on when the infrared light bounces off your hand (or an object) and back into the detector, whereas an ultrasonic field sensor will turn on when it is triggered by your hand movement disrupting the sensor. In both versions, the water will stop flowing when the sensor returns to its default state.

Costs of Touch and Touchless Faucets

Both touch and touchless kitchen faucets cost more than traditional manual faucets. That being said, like any product, there is a drastic variation in pricing with high-quality faucets with more features. For example, a name-brand, touchless, high-arc faucet with a pull-down sprayer and magnetic docking will cost more than a no-name, stripped-down touchless model with a low profile and no sprayer.

Kitchen Remodel Guides says that it's possible to find a standard single-hole kitchen faucet for as little as $30, but on average, you should expect to pay between $150 and $350 for such a design. Even a standard single-handle, pull-down kitchen faucet can go for as little as $40 but will be between $175 and $500 on average. On the other hand, an inexpensive touch or touchless kitchen faucet will cost at least $200, while an average model will cost anywhere from $400 to $700. In fact, some models can cost over $2,500.

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Features to Consider

Different brands offer different features, but many manufacturers just call standard features by their own proprietary names. For example, Moen offers "Spot Resist" technology, which is just a spot-resistant finish. Meanwhile, you could buy a Delta faucet with "MagnaTite Docking," which simply means it is motion-activated and features magnetic docking for the pull-down spray head. Kohler calls these same features "Response Technology" and "DockNetik."

Rather than getting caught up with company-specific buzzwords, it's important to focus instead on the features themselves when choosing a touch or touchless faucet. That being said, because low-quality touch and touchless faucets often experience problems, particularly with the all-important sensor, it's a good idea to always buy a faucet from a well-respected brand like Moen, Delta, Kohler, Danze, Grohe, Forious, or Flow. Be sure to check the reviews to ensure the faucet is high quality since even quality brands sometimes have flawed products. For this reason, you should always buy a faucet with a long warranty, preferably one that lasts a lifetime.

Another factor to consider is how easily you can switch to manual controls. Both touch and touchless faucets require batteries. Some companies also offer AC power adapters if you prefer to plug in your faucet, though the sinks can stay powered for as long as two years on one set of batteries. If you lose power or have a problem with your sensor, though, you'll need to be able to switch to manual mode easily.

Similarly, always find a model that makes it easy to turn up the flow rate or change the water temperature. Some older and inexpensive touchless faucets can only adjust the flow rate or water temperature with the shutoff valves under the sink, which is anything but convenient, especially since it's better to clean with warm water and cook with cold water.

More modern models can be adjusted with either a traditional faucet handle or the control dial underneath the sink, but the newest motion-sensor faucets have a sensor on each side that controls the temperature, with a blue and red LED light to indicate the cold and hot water controls.

Installing an Electric Faucet

Touch and touchless kitchen faucets aren't known for their easy installation. While many people find the process daunting since it involves wiring, it's not dramatically more difficult to install a touchless or touch faucet than it is to install a standard faucet. You just have to take the extra steps of connecting the control dial that controls the solenoid valve and the battery box or AC adapter.

When installing these faucets, be sure the sensor is installed in the correct place and that the control box containing the solenoid valve is properly installed, as this is what lets water come out of the spout. Each model will have its own unique installation instructions, so always be sure to follow these precisely, installing everything in the proper order and making sure to fully flush the lines if instructed to do so. Do not tie or twist wires together unless the directions specifically ask you to do so.

Benefits of Touch and Touchless Faucets

The main advantage of these products is that when your hands are covered in dirt, bacteria, food or anything else, you can activate your sink without using your hands — either by using a forearm or other body part or by simply waving your hand in front of the sensor. This can reduce the spread of germs and keep your faucet clean (particularly the handle).

Touch and touchless faucets are available in a wide array of styles and colors and often have built-in sprayers. Touchless faucets can be made from the same materials as any other faucet. However, because they require conductivity, touch faucets can only be made from materials that conduct electricity. This means they are usually made from copper, brass, zinc or nickel.

If you like the look of stainless steel, you might be disappointed to find that this material is not available for touch faucets, but brushed nickel and polished chrome can look similar, and they are far more conductive since steel can have as little as 3 percent conductivity, according to Metal Supermarkets. Delta even sells a finish known as "arctic stainless," which looks like stainless steel but is made from bronze. If you prefer the modern look of matte black or glossy white, these are also available for touch faucets.

You can save a lot of water with a high-tech faucet since you can more easily turn off the sink so it doesn't run while you soap up your hands or scrub a dirty pot. These can also be great options for kids who are too young to be able to reach the kitchen sink handle. Touchless faucets are great for homes with toddlers who might not remember to turn off the water.

Drawbacks of High-Tech Faucets

The main drawbacks of these faucets include:

  • These units are more expensive.

  • It is slightly more difficult to install these devices.

  • Power outages and dead batteries can render the advanced features useless.

  • Some older and cheaper models make it difficult to change the temperature and water pressure.

Aside from these problems, it's also worth mentioning that some models develop issues with their sensors, meaning the water will not turn on or off when desired, which makes these effort-saving devices more of a challenge than an advantage. The best way to prevent this issue is by always buying a highly rated, name-brand item with a lengthy warranty.

Additionally, while touchless and touch faucets usually save water, they can also sometimes waste water, especially in homes with pets and young children. Touchless models can sometimes be a bad choice for homes with pets that can turn on the sensor without trying. Some animals even learn to turn on touchless faucets to get fresh, running water on demand.

Touch faucets can also waste water if they are turned on by a toddler or by an animal's nose and then not shut off again, which is why people with pets or young children should invest in a model with an auto-shutoff feature that turns off the water after a set period of time.

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Lucy is a freelance writer based in Washington D.C. She loves modern design, travels often, and gets weekly bubble tea. She's a big believer in "less is more" (except planner stickers) and is always looking to create that perfect 10-piece capsule wardrobe.